Benefits of Pets
A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.– Josh Billings
Pets are a part of many of our lives. If we treat them well, having a pet as a part of the family can lead to invaluable benefits for a child, especially a single child.
Trained animals help children deal with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or other emotional problems; pets can help raise a more balanced, mature, and responsible child.
1. Pets Become a Sounding Board
Pets give unconditional love. Unlike humans, they do not judge. They are not jealous and do not cause any ‘sibling rivalry’. Children confide in them and talk to them about their deepest troubles. The pet listens to them and loves them despite all their faults and mistakes. Pets give children a safe place to talk about their anger and fears, thus preventing them from taking out their anger on others. Children with pets, in general, do not become bullies who find targets for their anger.
2. Pets Teach Empathy
When a pet becomes part of a family, everyone tries to take care of it. Caring for someone who cannot speak what they want, and is so dependent on you to take care of them, teaches a child the value of empathy. Is the dog hungry? Is it sleepy? Is the sound of thunder scaring it? A child who treats their pet kindly with a lot of love and care is more likely to treat other people also the same way.
3. Pets Help a Child Become Responsible
While very young children (under 10 years of age) cannot take full responsibility for caring for a pet, they can take simple responsibilities like ensuring that the water bowl is refilled on time. When the child gets older, he/she can take up responsibility for grooming and taking the pet for a walk. Such simple acts slowly add up into making a child responsible for his/her duties, and this behaviour spills into other aspects of life.
4. Pets Help Increase Verbal Skills
Many children who are introverts and find it difficult to talk with strangers or new people are quite comfortable in talking with pets. The mere presence of a pet (especially pets like dogs and cats that interact with humans) causes children to speak to them and increase their verbal ability.
No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does.– Christopher Morley
5. Pets are Good for Health
Pets at home are good for the health of everyone in the family. Children who grow up with pets are less likely to develop certain types of allergies. Stroking, petting, or playing with a pet generally reduces blood pressure, stress, and anxiety.
6. Pets Teach Life Lessons
Most pets have a shorter lifespan than humans. As a result, most children who own pets see and understand the full life cycle of birth, life, illness, accidents, death, and bereavement. Their ability to handle life’s disappointments in the future is better, and the likelihood of falling prey to depression due to such losses is lower.
A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won’t be too bad.– Robert Wagner